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When will a commercial enterprise put a human in orbit?

Commercial space ventures continue to gain technical expertise and push farther and farther into feats of spaceflight once achieved only by government space agencies. One frontier not yet breached by commercial ventures, however, is a crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

To date,the national space agencies of the United States, Russia, and China have launched a human into space and returned him or her safely to the Earth. One suborbital commercial flight, that of SpaceShip One in 2004, earned the status of first commercial human spaceflight, reaching an altitude of 100 kilometers.

Having successfully resupplied the ISS with cargo, Elon Musk and SpaceX are now looking toward ferrying astronauts to and from the station. Originally, SpaceX hoped to send a crewed flight to the ISS in August 2017, but that schedule was interrupted by an explosion of a Falcon-9 rocket on the launchpad in September 2016. The Falcon-9 returned to flight in January 2017.

The delay meant that competitor Boeing, looking at a February 2018 crewed launch, is now close at SpaceX's heels.

When will a commercial venture conduct a successful crewed mission to put one or more humans into orbit?

This question will resolve as positive when a non-governmental space agency crewed mission successfully delivers one or more people into at least one orbit around the Earth; this may be in a module launched by the agency, or a delivery to the ISS or other existing platform, etc. The commercial agent can use some forms of government support, but the launch, flight, etc., of the craft must be under the control of a private enterprise.


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